November 18th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 45
The Dunlops return to Frank
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Daniel James Dunlop, 62, and his son Daniel Francesco Dunlop, 12, in front of the Dunlop Guns in Frank.
Pass Herald Reporter
On Nov. 11, a piece of living history was sitting in the Coleman Legion, eating a bowl of minestrone soup and leafing through a photo album of his glorious and terrible family history.

Looking through the album, you can see old photos, telegrams, letters and notifications of death that Daniel James Dunlop, 62, inherited from his father Daniel Eric Dunlop, who inherited it from his father Daniel Dunlop Jr., who inherited it from the legendary Daniel Dunlop Sr., the Frank man who lost three sons to the battlefields of the First World War
Daniel James, his wife Helen Dunlop, 44, and their son Daniel Francesco Dunlop, 12 made the trip from Prince George, B.C., to take part in Remembrance Day in the Pass and were honoured in a ceremony by the Dunlop Guns that now serve as the cenotaph for the community of Frank.

“We’re the last of the Dunlops,” said Daniel James in front of the howitzer and the two Vickers machine guns that bare his name.

Daniel James’ great-grandfather Daniel Dunlop Sr., his grandfather Daniel Dunlop Jr. and granduncles James Burt Dunlop and John Burt Dunlop all volunteered to fight in Europe in 1914.
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By June 1917 all three of Daniel Sr.’s boys had been be killed in action.

The youngest, John Burt, was only 13 years old when he enlisted. He was serving as a messenger/runner when he was killed June 2, 1916 at Sanctuary Wood at the age of 15.

Daniel Jr., Daniel James’ grandfather and the only Dunlop boy to have children, was killed Nov. 17, 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele at the age of 23. He had been serving as a stretcher-bearer for the 49th Battalion when he was killed by shellfire.

James Burt was killed May 27, 1916 during the Battle of the St. Eloi Craters at the age of 19. It was the first major engagement for the 2nd Canadian Division, recently arrived from England.

The Dunlop boys have no known graves. Their names are inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial, which is situated at the eastern side of the town of Ypres in the Province of West Flanders, along with the names of 55,000 other men who were lost without a trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient during the First World War.

They are honoured to this day every night at 8 p.m. when two buglers – and on special occasions four – play the last post as they have been since 1927 with the notable interruption of the Second World War.

In a time when recruiters turned a blind to the age of enlisted men, Daniel James told of how his great grandfather lied about his age to serve alongside his boys. Daniel Sr. was actually 57 years old when he joined up but his enlistment documents said he was 48, he also threw an extra ‘p’ to the end of his last name for good measure.
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“He knocked about 15 years off his age to get in,” said Daniel James.

There were eight Dunlop children at the beginning of the war: five daughters and three sons but by war’s end Daniel James’ great grandmother Annie was left with only four daughters. Daniel James said that after learning of her brothers’ deaths, one of the sisters died of grief.

“The one girl who died soon after they found out the last brother was killed,” said Daniel James. “She gave up and died she was 16 or 17 at the time.”

Daniel Sr., survived the war, returned to his wife Annie and helped erect the monument. The Canadian government acquired some of the army’s excess armaments. Any community could apply for guns to be used to build cenotaphs. Daniel Sr. applied and ended up with the guns, the replicas of which still stand today.

Related: "Remembering the Dunlops" November 4, 2015 Issue
November 18th ~ Vol. 85 No. 45
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